Chicago Latino Film Festival | Festival | Chicago Reader

Arts & Culture » Festival

Chicago Latino Film Festival

comment

The International Latino Cultural Center presents the 22nd Chicago Latino Film Festival with screenings Friday through Thursday, April 28 through May 4, at Facets Cinematheque; Gene Siskel Film Center; Lake Forest College, 555 N. Sheridan, Lake Forest; Landmark's Century Centre; Little Village Lawndale High School, 3120 S. Kostner; Olive-Harvey College, 10001 S. Woodlawn; Richard J. Daley College, 7500 S. Pulaski; River East 21; and St. Xavier Univ., 3700 W. 103rd St. Unless otherwise noted, tickets are $9-$10, and a festival pass, good for ten screenings, is $80. Discounts are available for students, seniors, the disabled, and members of Illinois Arts Alliance and ILCC; for more information call 312-409-1757 or visit www.latinoculturalcenter.org. Unless otherwise noted, all screenings are in English or subtitled Spanish.

FRIDAY 28

A Dios Momo

Pretentious and dull, this Uruguayan exercise in magical realism takes place during the annual carnival in Montevideo. An illiterate urchin (Matthias Acuna) works hard peddling newspapers to help support his two sisters and his grandmother, a professional psychic; after he's robbed by street punks, a mime materializes to console him and leads him to some sad-sack performers and a mysterious night watchman (Jorge Esmoris). Characters pass in and out of this 2005 feature, adding to the sense of dislocation as director Leonardo Ricagni (29 Palms) moves toward a baffling denouement. 108 min. (AG) a St. Xavier Univ., 6 PM

Kept & Dreamless

A 2004 drama about Argentinean women, directed by Vera Fogwill and Martin Desalvo. 97 min. a Landmark's Century Centre, 6 PM

Muxes: Authentic, Intrepid Seekers of Danger

Alejandra Islas directed this 2005 Mexican feature about homosexuals who celebrate their identity as Zapotec Indians. 105 min. a Gene Siskel Film Center, 6 PM

R Tango, a Strange Turn

At one point during this 2003 Argentinean documentary a musician describes Buenos Aires as the real city that never sleeps (with apologies to Sinatra), a characterization that explains why it spawned the tango and, along with it, some of the most sensual music ever made. Filmmaker Mercedes Garcia Guevara provides a historical overview of the dance, with arresting performance footage of the great singer Carlos Gardel, but she's more interested in explaining tango's deep connection with the city. Among the other inspired performers are the ensembles La Chicana and Los Munecos and singers Fernando Otero and Dolores Sola; the latter is accompanied by songwriter-guitarist Acho Estel, whose tunes prove that tango continues to evolve. 98 min. (JK) a Landmark's Century Centre, 6 PM

My Grandfather, My Father and I

Three generations of men have trouble with women in this 2005 Colombian feature by Dario Armando Garcia. 90 min. a Lake Forest College, 7 PM

Romeo and Juliet Get Married

Leggy blond Julieta (Luana Piovani) grew up attending soccer games with her father, who can recount decades' worth of plays by his beloved Palmeiras team; when she meets Romeu (Marco Ricca), a handsome widower, he tries to conceal his pedigree as a die-hard Corinthians fan. His deception spans almost the entire length of this 2005 Brazilian comedy, which culminates in a Tokyo match--as if the rival camps' bombastic silliness will be funnier taken to an international level. Bruno Barreto (Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands) directed. In Portuguese with subtitles. 92 min. (AG) a Richard J. Daley College, 7 PM

Visits Pedro Lange directed this 2005 Colombian feature integrating three stories. 90 min. a Facets Cinematheque, 7 PM

Your Own Blood

Julian Larrea Arias's 2005 documentary focuses on a beautiful region of Ecuador between the rain forest and the Andes, where the Shuar Indians, the majority of the population, believe the mestizos in power haven't been acting in their best interests. Arias follows an election that pits a Shuar against a mestizo, letting the candidates and other Shuar do most of the talking. Individual concerns are clear, but the paucity of objective facts and broader perspectives makes it hard to comprehend the larger issues or the intricacies of local politics, and the nature interludes offer little more than atmosphere. 71 min. (FC) a Little Village Lawndale High School, 7:30 PM

The Outcome

Old college friends get together to produce a movie and uncover dark secrets about one another. Juan Pinzas directed this 2005 Spanish feature. 107 min. a Landmark's Century Centre, 8 PM

Viva Cuba

Class differences threaten to divide two young friends in this 2004 Cuban feature by Juan Carlos Cremata Malberti. 84 min. a Landmark's Century Centre, 8:15 PM

Casi Casi

A boy tries to impress his high school classmate by running for class president and finds himself campaigning against her. Jaime Valles and Tony Valles directed this 2005 Puerto Rican feature. 99 min. a Gene Siskel Film Center, 8:30 PM

A Day Without Sex

An ensemble story about four Peruvian couples. Frank Perez-Garland directed this 2005 feature. 90 min. a Facets Cinematheque, 9 PM

Rabbit on the Moon

Jorge Ramirez-Suarez directed this 2004 Mexican feature about a couple at the mercy of government and police corruption. 112 min. a Landmark's Century Centre, 10:15 PM

The Visitor

A Chilean horror movie (2005) about a maternity ward terrorized by a genetic experiment gone awry. Coke Hidalgo directed. 74 min. a Landmark's Century Centre, 10:45 PM

SATURDAY 29

R The Promise

Carmen Maura stars as a woman on the verge of a psychotic breakdown. Mousy, childless, and fervently religious, she flees after striking back at her abusive husband and finds work as a nanny in a gloomy mansion on the Galician coast. Her new charge is a precocious boy troubled by his parents' rocky marriage, and though she develops an unusually strong bond with him, her contentment is threatened when she visits a legendary church and begins hearing sinister commands. Hector Carre directed this atmospheric Spanish thriller (2003), whose ghoulish frissons suggest Robert Aldrich by way of Luis Buñuel. 97 min. (AG) a Landmark's Century Centre, 1:30 PM

RTango, a Strange Turn

See listing for Fri 4/28. a Landmark's Century Centre, 3 PM

RTo the Other Side

Natalia Almada's 2005 documentary about Mexican illegals bristles with attitude, much like the edgy contemporary folk tunes it showcases. Reflecting the realities of poverty, the drug trade, and the immigrant experience, these corridos are popular on both sides of the border: in a depressed region of Sinaloa, an aspiring composer hopes his lyrics will be his ticket north, while in LA, English-speaking Angelenos reinforce their Mexican identity in the corridos club scene. Many of the songs extol bravery and determination in the face of death; the mythos may have found its apotheosis in Chalino Sanchez, a narco-corridos singer whose 1992 murder has never been solved. 66 min. (AG) a Gene Siskel Film Center, 3 PM

Short works by Esteban Gaggino

Three shorts from Argentina. 48 min. a Facets Cinematheque, 3:30 PM

Unfaithful Women

An ensemble drama about adulterous women in Chile. Rodrigo Ortuzar directed this 2004 feature. 100 min. a Landmark's Century Centre, 4:15 PM

Hard Times

Manuel Martin Cuenca directed this 2005 Spanish feature about a single mother and a Cuban immigrant. 115 min. a Landmark's Century Centre, 5:20 PM

Casi Casi

See listing for Fri 4/28. a Gene Siskel Film Center, 6 PM

The Committee

Mateo Herrera's 2005 documentary chronicles a prison riot in Ecuador. 93 min. a Facets Cinematheque, 6:30 PM

A King in La Havana

Romantic comedy about an arranged marriage between a Spanish man and a young Cuban woman. Alexis Valdes directed this 2005 feature. 110 min. a Landmark's Century Centre, 7 PM

News From Afar

Ricardo Benet directed this 2005 Mexican feature about a young man from the salt flats who seeks a new life in Mexico City. a Little Village Lawndale High School, 7:30 PM

RLife in Color

Set in a small Spanish town as Franco is dying, this 2005 feature by Santiago Tabernero focuses on a moody 13-year-old (nicely played by Junio Valverde) who's ostracized by his male peers because his mother sends him to Catholic rather than public school. Other memorable characters include the boy's almost girlfriend, her mentally unbalanced father, and the hero's older sister, who's glumly resigned to marrying a pompous twit. Tabernero takes his time establishing a rhythm from scene to scene, but eventually the assorted subplots gain traction, and the film becomes a nostalgic and melancholy look at the awkwardness of youth. 97 min. (JK) a Landmark's Century Centre, 8 PM

Short works, program one

Two documentaries: Alejandro Ramirez Corona's Alice in the Underground (2004, 38 min.) looks at the counterculture in Mexico City, and Richard Casas's Words of Truth (2004, 54 min.) profiles Uruguayan poet and novelist Mario Benedetti. a Gene Siskel Film Center, 8:30 PM

Your Own Blood

See listing for Fri 4/28. a Facets Cinematheque, 9 PM

Cafune

A young woman from a rich family falls for a slum dweller in this 2005 Brazilian drama by Bruno Vianna. 92 min. a Landmark's Century Centre, 9:45 PM

Hidden

Spanish chiller (2005) about the study of dreams, directed by Antonio Hernandez. 125 min. a Landmark's Century Centre, 10:15 PM

SUNDAY 30

R Cazuza

Daniel de Oliveira gives a winning performance as the bisexual, substance-abusing Brazilian rock star Cazuza, who died of AIDS in 1990 at age 32. Channeling the singer's charisma as a performer and sensitivity as a songwriter, de Oliveira is especially effective in the concert scenes. Directors Walter Carvalho and Sandra Werneck eschew conventional narrative structure, taking an impressionist, elliptical approach to the singer's professional ascent; they also spare us the standard rock 'n' roll homilies, though there's no escaping the shopworn conclusion that Cazuza's brilliance and self-destructive tendencies were intertwined. Fernando Bonassi collaborated with Lucia Araujo, the singer's mother, in adapting her book to the screen. In Portuguese with subtitles. 98 min. (JK) a Landmark's Century Centre, 3 PM

The Outcome

See listing for Fri 4/28. a Landmark's Century Centre, 3 PM

Short works, program one

See listing for Sat 4/29. a Gene Siskel Film Center, 3 PM

Muxes: Authentic, Intrepid Seekers of Danger

See listing for Fri 4/28. a Gene Siskel Film Center, 5 PM

Visits

See listing for Fri 4/28. a Facets Cinematheque, 5 PM

Viva Cuba

See listing for Fri 4/28. a Landmark's Century Centre, 5:15 PM

Kept & Dreamless

See listing for Fri 4/28. a Landmark's Century Centre, 5:20 PM

Your Own Blood

See listing for Fri 4/28. a Facets Cinematheque, 7 PM

Limit

Nicolas Jullian directed this 2004 Chilean intrigue about a man and a woman involved in trade negotiations with Argentina. 90 min. a Landmark's Century Centre, 7:30 PM

Rabbit on the Moon

See listing for Fri 4/28. a Landmark's Century Centre, 7:35 PM

Mirror Dance

Frances McElroy and Maria Teresa Rodriguez directed this 2005 documentary about two sisters, former stars in the National Ballet of Cuba, who were reunited after a 40-year separation. a Facets Cinematheque, 9 PM

Maria Bethania, Music and Perfume

Georges Gachot's 2005 documentary allows the great Brazilian singer Maria Bethania to indulge in poetic meditations on her art and its relationship to her homeland. Behind-the-scenes studio footage sometimes makes this feel like an extended promotional clip for Bethania's recent albums, and none of the interviews do much to contextualize her role in the Tropicalia movement of the late 60s or the subsequent twists of her dynamic career. But what this French-Swiss video lacks in historical perspective, it makes up for with terrific and plentiful performances. Among the talking heads are fellow musicians Chico Buarque, Nana Caymmi, Gilberto Gil, and Caetano Veloso (the singer's brother). 82 min. (Peter Margasak) a Landmark's Century Centre, 9:45 PM

Redeemer

A journalist investigates his former childhood friend, now a tycoon facing financial ruin, in this 2004 Brazilian drama by Claudio Torres. 110 min. a Landmark's Century Centre, 10 PM

MONDAY 1

Maquilapolis

Vicky Funari and Sergio de la Torre directed this documentary about factory conditions in Tijuana. 68 min. a Gene Siskel Film Center, 6 PM

Maria Bethania, Music and Perfume

See listing for Sun 4/30. a Landmark's Century Centre, 6 PM

R The Promise

See listing for Sat 4/29. a Landmark's Century Centre, 6 PM

Mirror Dance

See listing for Sun 4/30. a Facets Cinematheque, 7 PM

Hidden

See listing for Sat 4/29. a Landmark's Century Centre, 8:15 PM

My Grandfather, My Father and I

See listing for Fri 4/28. a Gene Siskel Film Center, 8:30 PM

Redeemer

See listing for Sun 4/30. a Landmark's Century Centre, 8:35 PM

Life Is a Carnaval

Three stories intertwine at a carnival in this 2004 Bolivian feature by Julia Vargas-Weise. 102 min. a Facets Cinematheque, 9 PM

TUESDAY 2

My Best Enemy: Patagonia, 1978

Grand Illusion in South America, this 2005 antiwar drama is set during the brief period when Chile and Argentina's dispute over the Beagle Channel threatened to erupt into open warfare. A squad of six Chilean soldiers is ordered to establish a military outpost north of Punta Arenas, and in the middle of the plains they encounter an Argentinean squad with an identical mission; both sides dig in, but eventually boredom gets the better of everyone, and they become friendly. The characters never progress beyond the usual war-movie archetypes, but writer-director Alex Bowen makes the most of their ludicrous standoff in the middle of nowhere and their growing sense of brotherhood. 104 min. (JJ) a Olive-Harvey College, 5 PM

Four for None

A young boy surrounded by two-bit criminals resolves to become a successful businessman in this 2005 Brazilian feature by Alice de Andrade. 105 min. a Landmark's Century Centre, 6:10 PM

My Grandfather, My Father and I

See listing for Fri 4/28. a Gene Siskel Film Center, 6 PM

On the Other Side

Gustavo Loza directed this 2005 Mexican feature, which combines three stories about families whose fathers have crossed the border to the U.S. in search of work. 89 min. a Landmark's Century Centre, 6:15 PM

Short works, program two

Three shorts from Mexico and the U.S. 88 min. a Facets Cinematheque, 7 PM

News From Afar

See listing for Sat 4/29. a Olive Harvey College, 7:30 PM

The Deal

A British TV crew fabricates a documentary on the Colombian drug economy in this 2005 Colombian feature by Francisco Norden. 98 min. a Landmark's Century Centre, 8:30 PM

Maquilapolis

See listing for Mon 5/1. a Gene Siskel Film Center, 8:30 PM

Limit

See listing for Sun 4/30. a Landmark's Century Centre, 8:40 PM

Short works, program three

Shorts from Peru and the U.S. 88 min. a Facets Cinematheque, 9 PM

WEDNESDAY 3

Cayo

This 2005 love story offers an airbrushed picture of terminal cancer, as a dying New Yorker (Carlos Esteban Fonseca) and his wife (Idalia Perez Garay) return to the Puerto Rican island where he was born. Most of the old gang from his hometown have moved on, but the man rallies when he rediscovers a lush key that's rich with memories. Despite a fine cast, the movie fails to convince as a story about illness and reconciliation: a subplot involving an alcoholic former rival and his drug-addicted daughter is underdeveloped, and flashbacks to the married couple's courtship exist primarily to showcase the vivacious Roselyn Sanchez (of the CBS series Without a Trace) as the young wife. Vicente Juarbe directed. 111 min. (AG) Juarbe will attend the screening, part of the festival's closing-night program. Tickets are $75 and include a reception after the screening. a River East 21, 6 PM

Dancing the Cha Cha Cha

A Cuban family grapples with the social and political forces of the early 1950s in this 2005 feature by Manuel Herrera, which settles into the overwrought tone of a telenovela. A college student and her two brothers--a soldier and a musician--follow increasingly divergent paths while their mother stoically awaits the return of their father, a former baseball player who abandoned the family years earlier for a better life in the U.S. Herrera uses the cha-cha craze as an excuse for some hot dance numbers but never establishes its thematic significance. 102 min. (JK) a Gene Siskel Film Center, 6 PM

Cafune

See listing for Sat 4/29. a Landmark's Century Centre, 6:15 PM

On the Other Side

See listing for Tue 5/2. a Landmark's Century Centre, 6:20 PM

Life Is a Carnaval

See listing for Mon 5/1. a Facets Cinematheque, 7 PM

Quick Pick

A man goes in search of his missing lottery ticket in this 2005 feature by Williams Vazquez. 78 min. Also on the program: Ben-Hur Uribe's short Out of Love (2005, 15 min.), a sobering tale of a woman forced to act when she catches her teenage son molesting his younger sister. a Gene Siskel Film Center, 8:30 PM

Four for None

See listing for Tue 5/2. a Landmark's Century Centre, 8:45 PM

Night Fangs

Lesbian lovers revive a 16th-century Hungarian countess in this local 2005 horror feature by Ricardo Islas. 98 min. a Landmark's Century Centre, 9 PM

Short works, program two

See listing for Tue 5/2. a Facets Cinematheque, 9 PM

THURSDAY 4

R Cazuza

See listing for Sun 4/30. a Landmark's Century Centre, 6:30 PM

Tainos: The Last Tribe

Archaeology students exploring a Puerto Rican cave discover an indigenous tribe thought to have been killed by the Spaniards 500 years earlier. Benjamin Lopez directed this 2005 feature. 117 min. a Landmark's Century Centre, 6:30 PM

Bloom

Julio D. De Los Santos directed this sentimental tale about a young woman struggling to win back custody of her two children after DCFS places them with her mother--an angry, controlling woman who disapproves of the daughter's lifestyle. The young woman is contrasted with her court-appointed therapist, an affluent white woman who's struggling to conceive a child of her own, and by the time a third story line pops up (this one involving a Holocaust survivor), there's enough melodrama to fuel an entire telenovela. The decent performances and the good intentions of screenwriter Rosie Vargas aren't enough to make this convincing. 97 min. (Reece Pendleton) a Facets Cinematheque, 7 PM

Quick Pick

See listing for Wed 5/3. a Gene Siskel Film Center, 8:30 PM

The Deal

See listing for Tue 5/2. a Landmark's Century Centre, 9 PM

Night Fangs

See listing for Wed 5/3. a Landmark's Century Centre, 9 PM

Short works, program three

See listing for Tue 5/2. a Facets Cinematheque, 9 PM

Add a comment